From Haute Couture to Homemade, 1939–1945
A comprehensive analysis of Second World War dress practice and appearance, this study places dress at the forefront of a complex series of cultural chain reactions.
As lives were changed by the conditions of war, dress continued to reflect important visual narratives regarding class, gender and taste that would impact significantly on public consciousness of equality, fairness and morale. Using new archival and primary source evidence, Wartime Fashion clarifies how and why clothing was rationed, and repositions style and design during the war in relation to past expectations and ideas about clothes and fabrics. The book explores the impact of war on the dress and appearance of civilian women of all classes in the context of changing social and economic infrastructures created by the national emergency.
The varied research elements combined in this book form a rounded and definitive account of the dress history of British women during the Second World War. This is essential reading for anyone with an active interest in the field, whether personal or professional.
Table of contents
- Front matter
- Buying into Fashion: The Social Background pp. 1–6
- Shopping for Fashion in the Pre-War Years pp. 7–22
- Being Chic and Being British pp. 23–30
- The Healthy Body and the Politics of Fitness pp. 31–40
- Evacuation pp. 41–54
- Fashions for a Phoney War pp. 55–74
- Calls for Rationed Fashion pp. 75–88
- Setting the Ration pp. 89–98
- The Utility Clothing Scheme pp. 99–108
- Assessing the Impact of Clothes Rationing pp. 109–122
- Home Front Clothing Initiatives pp. 123–140
- Clothes for Coupons pp. 141–152
- Keep Smiling Through: Good Health and Natural Beauty pp. 153–164
- Utility and Austerity pp. 165–182
- Conclusion pp. 183–186
- Back matter